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This is one of a series
of brief articles on how to respond effectively
to annoying social behavior. An "effective response"
occurs when you get your
well enough, and both people feel
This article offers useful (a)
perspective on awareness, and
illustrates effective responses
to someone you experience as
unaware. It assumes
you're familiar with...
This brief YouTube video offers perspective on what
you'll find in
How would you describe awareness to a
pre-teen? How about unawareness? Now
compare your descriptions to this simple
Our mind, spirit, body, and six (?)
senses provide us with an endless array of
things to be aware (conscious) of now and
over time. These "things" can be current
("real"), remembered, or imagined. To avoid
overwhelm, we learn to automatically screen out
much inner and outer information, and stay
focused on a small portion of our present
Our awareness is like the beam of a flashlight
on the wall of a dark tunnel. It
illuminates a fraction of what there is to
"see." With increasing life-experience and
awareness of our awareness, we can change
brightness, stability, direction, and the scope
of our beam (narrow to wide). With meditation,
journaling, and practice, we can become
conscious of some "unconscious" thoughts and
feelings, hunches, premonitions, spiritual
realities, and "senses." Doing this increases
and improves our life choices.
Accurate awareness of what you and any partners
are thinking, feeling, needing, and doing from
moment to moment is essential for effective
communication, empathy, and true intimacy - do
you agree? Situationally and generally, we each
can be judged to be between "very unaware" to
Where would you rank yourself on this spectrum
recently? Where would people who know you
rank you? Are you as aware as you'd like to be?
Can you think of someone you'd say is "very
aware"? If so, how do you judge that?
article focuses on four awareness zones:
(thoughts + emotions + needs + senses)
inside your current
partner/s, ( " )
the dynamic process
you partners, and...
mutual awareness of all four zones is essential
Reflect - do you normally evaluate a partner's
awareness in important situations?
If they seem too unaware, what do you usually
do? Repress? Ignore? Numb or tune out? Feel
critical or frustrated? Discount them? Feel
superior? Lecture? Demand? Hint? Chide?
Confront? Something else? Your choice of
response depends on (a) what you need and (b)
your shared bond and trust.
your choices if you perceive that a
communication partner is too unaware of
until they become
Identify what you feel around
the unaware person - in general, and/or
right now. Your emotions point to unfilled
Identify what you need
with and from
the unaware person now - to vent?
Learn? Inform? Cause action? Set or enforce
a boundary? Notice the needs not
listed: to reprimand, shame, manipulate,
battle, punish, be "right," discount, "win,"
or show off. Needs like these usually
indicate local false-self dominance and
As a courtesy,
ask if the person is open to some
personal feedback. If s/he says or
implies "No," you have a different
If you need to vent or learn...
experience you as unaware (of one or more
zones) now or overtime)."
"Do you see
yourself as a fairly empathic / aware
"Are you aware
of your eye focus / facial expression /
voice tone / body language / repetition /
chuckling / interrupting me / rambling /
monologing /preaching / lecturing (etc)."
"Are you aware of what happens when we start
to talk about money / kids / sex / religion / relatives /
our relationship / some conflict (etc.)?"
"Are you aware
of what your fingers / hands / foot / face
are doing now?"
"When you tap
your foot / drum your fingers / clear your
throat / say "Umm,'" / pick your nails / rub
your ____, I get distracted and irritated."
are you aware of right now?
"Are you aware
you've been talking nonstop for __ minutes?"
"Are you aware
of what I feel / need / think now?"
"(Name), what do
you need from me right now?"
If you need to cause action or set a
you seem unaware of (one or more zones, or
something else), I'm going to comment /
confront you / point that out / tell you
what I need / etc."
"Would you be interested in some ideas about
awareness that would help us communicate better?"
"I'd like to
suggest a simple
to raise your awareness and help our communication."
on communication basics, and then discuss it
with me. OK?"
I'd like you to
try a useful communication-skill practice
with me on
/ listening /
"I need you to
read this article on
and discuss it with me when you're done."
With any responses like these, expect
the other person to deny, explain, excuse,
deny, whine, complain, argue, attack or
discount you, go silent, laugh, or some
other "resistance." If s/he does,
acknowledge it with respectful empathic
listening, and repeat your original
response. Do this until you get what you
need, or your needs change.
Note the theme of these examples (e.g.
brevity, clarity, respect, calmness, good eye
contact, and directness), and use your
creativity and vocabulary to fashion similar
responses that fit your personality and style.
Can you think of someone in your life now
whose unawareness bothers you? If so, can
you imagine using responses like these to
get a different outcome with them? If not,
what's in the way?
This is one of a
of brief articles suggesting effective ways to
respond to common social behaviors. This article offers (a) perspective on
four zones of personal awareness, and (b)
options for responding to someone who is unaware
of one or more zones. The ways are
your true Self
genuine (vs. dutiful)
knowing what you
feel and need,
clarity on your
fluency in the
relationship skills of awareness, assertion,
and empathic listening.
Pause, breathe, and reflect - why did you read this
article? Did you get what you needed? If not, what
you need? Who's
these questions - your
intro / course
definitions / chat